Xiu Xiu to release entire album of Nina Simone covers, because nothing’s uglier than beautiful jazz

Xiu Xiu to release entire album of Nina Simone covers, because nothing's uglier than beautiful jazz http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1309/news-13-09-xiu-xiu.jpg

You know what? Sure. Sometimes you just gotta poke stuff and see what happens. And yeah, it seems like it doesn’t make any sense at first, but then when you just think about it for second, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart’s announcement that he’ll be releasing an entire album of Nina Simone covers this fall makes plenty of sense. Weird, cool, messy, insane sense. You know, the best kind? Or at at least, certainly the kind in which Stewart feels right at home when making.

Either way, the album is called Nina and arrives December 3 via Graveface Records. And don’t worry, despite that NPR-ready title, the press releases assures us all (as if we needed it) that none of the covers are very straight-laced, calling it “a thank-you note, a love letter, and a kind of musical fan-fic” for the late jazz and soul icon. Come on, now; who doesn’t love the idea of Nina Simone fan-fiction?

Working again with long-time collaborator Ches Smith (whom Stewart calls “the only person I know who could understand this in his heart and also handle the technical side of fearlessly reorienting such wonderful music”), the pair apparently aimed for arrangements that are “replete with languid, discordant jazz saxophone; sedate accordion; and brisk, minimalist drums,” that are “disquieting, sometimes downright spooky.” You know, like the Seinfeld theme? They also recorded the whole album “in just one day, all in first or second takes” in order to “[capture] the immediacy of the feelings that inspired the record.” Also like the Seinfeld theme.

“But how did this whole project happen to come about?” you may be asking. And while I’d love to tell you to shut your pathetic gob and that it’s none of your business, I just happen to have the answer handy, so here:

“The idea came being back stage in Austin TX, opening for Swans and feeling like I did not play well,” Stewart explains. The night before, he and Swans’ Michael Gira had discussed Simone, their love both for her talent as a musician and her fearlessness as a civil rights activist, and how Simone inspired them to make better work. Feeling down on himself, yet inspired both by the memory of Simone and the “epic and beautiful persistence” of Gira and Swans, Stewart decided to honor Simone and challenge himself in making Nina.

Yes, as usual, Swans are the driving force for everything ever.

Nina tracklisting:

01. Don’t Smoke in Bed
02. Don’t Explain
03. Wild is the Wind
04. Where Can I Go Without You
05. See Line Woman
06. Just Say I Love Him
07. Four Women
08. Pirate Jenny
09. You’d Be So Nice
10. The Other Woman
11. Flo Me La

• Xiu Xiu: http://xiuxiu.org
• Graveface: http://www.graveface.com

Awesome Tapes from Africa releases amazing Afro-pop-meets-early-90s-dance LP from janitor/politician/songwriter Penny Penn

Awesome Tapes from Africa are pretty good at delivering on their label promise; everything’s from Africa, and it’s usually pretty awesome. But Penny Penny is something special. Penny Penny is a record label janitor turned pop singer turned South African politician. Dude was squatting at said label, where he met Tsonga disco producer Joe Shirimani and convinced him to help out with a demo. Shirimani then convinced the label to release Penny Penny’s music, and six months after apartheid ended for good, the record became a huge mainstream surprise hit. Penny Penny has toured across Africa, rocking countless stages, and is now a regional politician in the African National Congress party a.k.a. Nelson Mandela’s party.

Speaking of parties (heeeeyyyyyo) Penny Penny’s music sounds like a party-rockin’ combination of African pop and the whole Crystal Waters/C&C Music Factors/Robin S. disco R&B dance trend of the early-to-mid 1990s. In Awesome Tapes from Africa press release speak, however, it’s “a genre-defining Shangaan disco record of Xitsonga language anthems” called Shaka Bundu. And now, ladies and gentlemen of non-South African lands, this insta-party can be yours for the first time ever on LP/CD/MP3/limited-edition CS on November 12. Check out album opener “Shichangani” below:

Shaka Bundu tracklist:

01. Shichangani
02. Shibandza
03. Ndzihere Bhi
04. Dance Khomela
05. Shaka Bundu
06. Zirmini
07. Milandu Bhe
08. Shichangani (Remix)

• Awesome Tapes from Africa: http://www.awesometapes.com

Mac DeMarco, human embodiment of the bus from Speed, announces nonstop world tour

What’s the deal with Mac DeMarco? Is the weirdo rocker an olde tyme travelin’ man who made a deal with the devil, cursed to wander, always wander, the far corners of the Earth? Is he an alien disguised as a cool human dude, sent to get insider info on Earth Music? An L.A. city bus that can’t slow down or ever stop without risking the threat of horrible destruction to itself and all passengers? Or… is he just the hardest working man in show business?

Dude has been nonstop rockin’ the US/Europe venue circuit, hot off the buzz of his debut full-length 2 earlier this year on Captured Tracks. And now he’s setting course for a fall tour that sees stops everywhere from Pitchfork Paris to Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Festival to Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne. While the length and dazzling variety of stops on DeMarco’s fall tour might hint at the Bus option, this special 2013 world tour promo video makes a pretty good case for Alien. Either way, it’ll be a nonstop party:


10.28.13 - London, UK - Scala
10.29.13 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix Bar
10.30.13 - Caen, France - Nordik Impakt Festival
10.31.13 - Paris, France - Pitchfork Paris Festival
11.01.13 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - London Calling Festival at Paradiso
11.02.13 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Iceland Airwaves Festival
11.08.13 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Festival
11.21.13 - Québec City, QC - Le Cercle
11.22.13 - Chicoutimi, QC - Le Sous Bois
11.23.13 - Montreal, QC - M for Montreal
11.24.13 - Toronto, ON - The Hoxton
11.29.13 - Beijing, China - MAO Livehouse
11.30.13 - Shanghai, China - Yuyintang
12.01.13 - Hong Kong, China - Clockenflap Festival
12.04.13 - Taipei, Taiwan - The Wall
12.06.13 - Bangkok, Thailand - Cosmic RCA
12.07.13 - Singapore - Home Club
12.09.13 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - The Bee
12.11.13 - Melbourne, Australia - The Corner Hotel *
12.12.13 - Sydney, Australia - The Standard *
12.14.13 - Meredith, Australia - Meredith Music Festival
12.18.13 - Brisbane, Australia - The Zoo
12.19.13 - Perth, Australia - The Bakery

* Twerps

• Mac DeMarco: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mac-DeMarco/301768729858252
• Captured Tracks: http://capturedtracks.com

Jenny Hval looking to conquer North America this fall (step one: cover Paul Simon)

On the heels of her Rune Grammofon album Innocence Is Kinky (TMT Review), Jenny Hval is touring North America for the first time. So now would be as good a time as any to reserve some tickets so you can see, in person, Hval play with song structure and wax philosophical on femininity and sexuality (or for those of us in the lunch pail crowd, listen to her sing about her web browser history).

Also, from this week’s edition of Out of Left Field Covers Fortnightly, we find that, on the eve of the tour, Hval has recorded a cover of Paul Simon’s “The Cool, Cool River” from his 1990 album The Rhythm of the Saints. You can check it out below. It’s… sparser than the original to say the least.

Here are the dates for Hval’s aforementioned tour:

09.25.13 - Boston, MA - Café 939
09.26.13 - Montreal, QC - Church of St. John the Evangelist - Pop Montreal Festival
09.27.13 - Toronto, ON - Rivoli
09.28.13 - Champaign, IL - Pygmalion Music Festival
09.29.13 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
10.01.13 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
10.02.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
10.31.13 - Hudson, NY - Basilica Hudson
11.01.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Museum
11.05.13 - Washington, DC - DC9
11.06.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
11.07.13 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall

• Jenny Hval: http://jennyhval.com
• Rune Grammofon: http://www.runegrammofon.com

Kylesa announce October tour…… you knuckleheads

Listen up, knuckleheads.

Kylesa are one of Savannah, Georgia’s top tier metal bands. BE ADVISED: suggesting that they are in a lower tier within the Savannah, Georgia metal scene will result in vast disagreements from the city’s metal elders. If you’re going to express such an opinion, I wouldn’t set foot in Savannah. Not unless you really want to see some folks not taking kindly, that is.

Heck, if you’re gonna say things like that, I’d lay low all through October. That’s when Kylesa are going on tour. They’re touring in support of their newest release on Season of Mist, Ultraviolet. If you’ve been mouthing off about Kylesa, I’d check the dates below. Those are the cities where you should tread lightly, my friend. Behave with arrogance and watch yourself get pounded by a band with two drummers. Or, if you happen to be in Norman, Oklahoma on the fifth of October, watch yourself get pounded by Kylesa, Saint Vitus, and Pallbearer. Buddy, you won’t be talking bad about sludge metal after that.

Kylesa dates:

10.01.13 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
10.02.13 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
10.03.13 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
10.04.13 - Little Rock, AR - Downtown Music
10.05.13 - Norman, OK - The Opolis *
10.06.13 - Dallas, TX - Dada
10.08.13 - San Antonio, TX - Korova
10.09.13 - Austin, TX - Red 7
10.10.13 - Tucson, AZ - The Rock
10.12.13 - Tempe, AZ - Yucca Tap Room
10.13.13 - San Diego, CA -Brick By Brick
10.14.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
10.15.13 - Oakland, CA - Oakland Opera House
10.16.13 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow’s
10.17.13 - Portland, OR - Dante’s
10.18.13 - Olympia, WA - Capitol Theater
10.19.13 - Missoula, MT - The Palace
10.20.13 - Rapid City, SD - Johnny Billiards
10.22.13 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
10.23.13 - Detroit, MI - Small’s
10.24.13 - Wilmington, DE - Mojo Main
10.25.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Saint Vitus
10.26.13 - Springfield, VA - Empire
10.27.13 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter

* Saint Vitus, Pallbearer

• Kylesa: http://www.kylesa.com
• Season of Mist: http://www.season-of-mist.com

[Photo: Evy Mages]

Domino Recording Company runs for charities, asks for donations, persuades you with potential goodies

Absent a staff list on their website with adjacent professional head-shots, we can only surmise the collective physical appearance of the people behind Domino, one of independent music’s largest and most successful labels, with headquarters in London but an office in Brooklyn, alongside French and German divisions. I’m personally imagining an unrivaled convergence of “beautifulness,” exemplified by carefully sculpted beards, stupendous fashion choices, and a general appreciation for music that only adds to the attraction. What happens, though, if you replace the raw denim with track shorts, in a potentially unflattering display of excessive leg hair? Well, what you have is a necessary sacrifice, for not just one but two good causes!

On October 6, 15 members of “Team Domino” will be running the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in London in order to raise funds for two UK-based charities: Shelter from the Storm, London’s only free homeless shelter, which operates year-round without the benefit of government funding; and MIND, a charity dedicated to the support of people with mental health issues. As a supplement, Domino is also asking people to support the charities by making a donation through this website (oh, and look, a photo of some of the Domino folk!). At the time of writing, they’re about halfway toward reaching their goal of raising 10,000 quid.

Moreover, if altruism stops short of being a sufficient motivator, each donator will be entered to win a Domino “swag bag,” so long as you leave a message saying “GO TEAM DOMINO” in the designated message box. There are five such “swag bags” ready for distribution, and from the looks of the possible contents, well… I’m guessing the bag would have to be rather large.

• Domino: http://www.dominorecordco.us
• Shelter from the Storm: http://www.sfts.org.uk
• MIND: http://www.mind.org.uk